TALENTED middleweight, Conor Coyle brought the 800 strong attendance to their feet at the magnificent new Ebrington Square venue on Friday night as he was crowned the new Ulster Elite middleweight champion.
SIMON COLLINS was at The Venue
Photos: LORCAN DOHERTY (Presseye)
The St Joseph’s ABC clubman who agonisingly lost out in last year’s Ulster Elite light-heavyweight final to his Immaculata opponent, J. P. Delaney, made amends with a superb 15-9 decision over the Belfast man in Friday’s middleweight decider.
It was a mature and measured performance from the hard-hitting Galliagh man as he deservedly claimed The Sayers (Dublin) Cup following a convincing final round display against his experienced southpaw opponent.
Indeed, with the bout still in the balance going into the third and final round - Coyle leading by a narrow 6-5 margin at that point - the Derry lad had clearly preserved his energy for a steady bombardment and cruised to a convincing win.
In contrast to his exciting second round stoppage of Cavan’s Stephen Flynn at Pilot’s Row in the semi-final, Coyle approached Friday’s final cautiously and carefully measured up his opponent in the opening round.
“I was just seeing how the fight was going to go in the first round so it was cagey enough,” he recalled.
“In the second round I stepped it up a bit more and knew what I had to do to get the points.
“I knew I was slightly ahead going into the last round and knew I had to throw my punches and land points and thankfully I bossed the last round and got the decision in the end.”
Neither boxer landed any telling shots in the early exchanges, however, the judges seemed to like Coyle’s come-forward approach and awarded him a two point advantage at the end of the round.
Found His Range
It was much the same in the second round, however Coyle landed a powerful overhand right to Delaney’s head in the middle of the round as he began to find his range.
Holding a slender lead going into the final round, Coyle opted to take a more aggressive approach and it paid dividends with the ringside judges awarding the Derry man a 15-9 victory.
Coyle will now go on to compete in the 2013 National Elite Championships on Friday, February 8th and having tasted success at provincial level, the St Joe’s man is confident he can on to claim an Irish title.
“I’m delighted I’ve finally got my first senior title and hopefully there’s a lot more to come after this,” said Coyle.
“I knew I had to get one over him after last year’s final so I’m pleased with that.
“That’s set me up nicely now for the Elite Irish Championships in Dublin on February 9th. So I’ll keep the training going now up until the nationals.
“It’s brilliant for the club,” he continued. “I can’t remember the last time the club has had a senior champion so it’s brilliant to bring one to the club.
“My coaches Cahir and Kevin Duffy have put an awful lot of work into the club. They leave their families to take us away sparring and they put their heart and sole into it and I’d like to thank them for that.”
Coyle actually reached the Irish Senior light-heavyweight final at the National Stadium, Dublin last year, however he had to withdraw with a fractured hand on the day of the final against Olympian and Irish boxing team captain, Darren O’Neill, which was to be televised live on RTE.
And having experienced the atmosphere at the National Stadium on finals day, and on the back of his Ulster title success, he is anxious to go all the way this year.
“I’m confident I can win a National title,” he said. “I’ll just keep the head down now and keep working until the 8th February and then hopefully everything just comes at the right time for me,” he concluded.